Video Transcript: January 26th, 2022

Daniel Scharpenburg: Hello, I’m Daniel Scharpenburg. I’m the first vice-president of NTEU 66. And with me is Shannon Ellis. She is the president of NTEU 66. And we’re talking to you today about something that we see that could potentially be a problem that could harm employees. We don’t know that it’s a problem at this time, but we see a lot of potential issues with this thing that could be happening. So, um, with that being said, I’m going to turn it to Shannon. And she’s going to talk about what this issue is and more importantly, what you can do to help us help you. So, Shannon? 

Shannon Ellis: Good morning. Um, yes. I want to talk to you about movement of employees throughout submission processing.

Um, I need to let you know that NTU is meeting with the director of submission processing weekly now. Um, we meet with all the operation managers monthly. Uh, we held our first meeting, uh, just yesterday, uh, with the, uh, with all of the operations managers. And what we’re trying to do is raise some issues and concerns that employees are bringing to NTEU and trying to be, um, proactive, try to address these issues before they become a problem or impact our employees. Right?

So, one of the things that we brought up in this meeting was, uh, the movement, from what we’re hearing from some employees that, that they’re being moved from opera or department to department, work groups, to work groups, you know, ICO to RCO something, um, where employees are being moved throughout submission processing.

Um, and that is a concern to us. So we questioned, uh, management of. Uh, why didn’t you, NTEU was not notified of the movement that’s taking place. Now, management seems to believe that they have the right to move employees without noticing NTEU. That is something we are disagreeing with because NTEU has the right to bargain the impact and the implementation of any change in your work process.

That, that can include moving employees to a different team, one or all of them, re-aligning an entire team, um, moving you from one work area to another, uh, you know, it could be changing your tour duty. Those are all things that management is supposed to notify NTEU. 

Now, we want to make it clear. Management has the right to assign work. We’re not questioning that. Management has the right to determine the business need for moving employees from place to place. The problem is if they don’t notify NTEU or we’re not aware of this movement, then we don’t have the potential or the opportunity to address concerns when it comes to the implementation of that.

So, I do want to explain a little bit. So, when you hear us say, uh, we have the right to bargain I&I that is impact and implementation. Impact could be things like, uh, if they’re measuring you, if they move you to an area and you’ve not done the work there, and they’re holding you to the measures and that new work group, then the impact could be you don’t meet the numbers. You don’t meet the measures. They can lower your annual appraisal. They can remove you from overtime. They can remove you from the ability to apply for other jobs within the IRS. They could overlook you for details. Um, you know, so there’s a lot of things that can come under the impact to an employee because of these moves.

NTEU tries to address those issues before it becomes a problem. So, we would be addressing. Where you measured? Um, if these employees are needing to be trained, how much training? Uh, so the implementation part is what we bargain or we, uh, address to try to protect you from the impact. So, for instance, if they are moving you from work area to work area, you have a different set of standard or measures that you would have to meet in that new area.

We would be able to bargain and, and in the briefing, discuss our concern about how much training are you going to give these employees? If you move them over there, how long do you plan on keeping these employees in these areas? How are you selecting? Did you solicit for these or did you force these employees to move?

Um, are, is there a learning curve whenever you move these employees, are you gonna give them time to do the job so that they can eventually meet the numbers? How are you going to rate these employees? If you leave them over there for six to eight months? And then you move them back to another, to their home area. How are you going to rate them when there’s nothing, you know, nothing there you are receiving to show that you, you can do the work in your own area. These are all the things that we would address. The problem is we don’t know about these moves until you tell us because if management is not doing what the, the contract requires them to do, which is brief NTEU, then you, the employees, you’re the only way that we get the information that this is happening to you, but we need things from you. We need to know: how is it impacting you? Did your manager say that you were going to be measured and held to these new measures from this new position? Did they give you a one hour training where the normal training is a week?

All of this stuff, information we need from you. Now, I know in the past, Daniel, we know that a lot of people bring some of this information to us and we appreciate that. So, um, you know, I think that, you know, we, we, we understand you guys bring some information to us. We have to have substantiation to file the grievances, to file the ULPs, to show that their management is not following these.

So, we really are asking that you help us by, if you are being impacted, let us know. Call the NTEU office and let us know. Okay. 

Daniel Scharpenburg: Yeah, I appreciate so much whenever people reach out to give me information about things that happen, that happen, it happens. And I appreciate it so much. We appreciate it so much.

And I do want to let you know that also, sometimes people reach out to give information and they’re like, I’m really worried about retaliation. Can I be anonymous? And of course. Of course, just say so. And you could be anonymous as well. This does not require you putting yourself on the line. And then, um, I just want to finally talk about a real world example that I, I envisioned just to really bring it down to earth and say what I, what could happen.

What I am worried about is like, say someone that works, a clerk in DCO, uh, you know, they’re called clerks now. They used to be called data transcribers. But my real worry has been, well, what if this clerk and DCO, what they do is type all day, typing is their skill. What if they get moved to the mail-room and then they have to open mail, right? They have to open mail, which is not the same as typing all day at all. Right. And what if they have to do that? And then they’re held to standards and then what if they have to do that? And maybe the training wasn’t good enough. And maybe they didn’t have a learning curve and they’re held to standards.

Well, that, that doesn’t feel okay at all. Does it? So that is the kind of thing we’re looking for, and yes, if this is happening to you, if you’re being held to standards that aren’t in your work area, and if you’re getting these weekly reports that you’re failing and you think, well, I didn’t even get training, really bring it to us, bring it to us.

Okay? And we’ve got surveys out there too. So you can look for like flyers with like the little barcode and you just hold your phone up to it and it’ll come up and you can do the survey.

Shannon Ellis: Um, you should, you should check those kids, their QR codes. So the little bar codes, um, you’ll, you’ll see them located at different, um, on different bulletin boards. You’ll see them located on our flyers that we hand out, uh, desk drops, uh, things that are. The, the thing you need to realize is the QR code that’s out there in your area, that is for your area. And that information can change weekly, daily, hourly. So, check it. Sometimes we have surveys out there. Sometimes we have information that you need to be aware that’s happening.

Um, so check that QR code. Don’t assume it’s the same one, because that QR code that we’ve put in. That is for submission processing and that the effects on, uh, your area directly, uh, we’re doing everything we can to better our communication within your area. And so, like I said, you know, reach out to us. If you see things that are happening, that you’ve just questioned, you know, we’ll be happy to answer the questions for you, but don’t overlook those QR codes in your area because a lot of good information is posted on that. And sometimes it’s information we need from you. 

Daniel Scharpenburg: And we try to email those to members as well. So if we don’t have your email address, you may want to consider, uh, giving that to us.

Shannon Ellis: Right? Your personal, your personal email address.

Daniel Scharpenburg: And that’s it for today. So thank you for taking the time to listen to us and have a great day, everybody.

Shannon Ellis: Thank you.


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